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High School Sports

Football preview: Oaks Christian LB Mister Williams has name and game to remember

Mister Williams
Oaks Christian linebacker-running back Mister Williams will be a two-way threat for Oaks Christian this season.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

When fans first hear the public address announcer at an Oaks Christian football game mention that the tackle was made by Mister Williams, the Lions’ star linebacker, the inevitable reaction is, “What?”

When it happens again, then they ask, “Did he really say Mister?”

“I love my name,” Williams said. “I wouldn’t change it for anything. My dad said he gave it to me so that if anyone called me out by my name, they’d still have to respect it because my name is Mister.”

So everyone must be polite in addressing Williams, though most can’t believe his first name is Mister.

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“Teachers who first see my name, they say, ‘Mister? That’s a very unique name.’ Or they’ll be like, ‘Oh, give me your real name.’ I’m like, ‘That is my real name, madam.’ ”

Running backs better address him as Mister because of the way he uses his closing speed and aggressive tackling skills to make an impact on defense at the Westlake Village school.

“He’s explosive,” coach Charles Collins said. “He plays with great eyes, great anticipation. Being a running back, he also covers well. He’s what I would call a poor man’s Myles Jack because he’s not Myles Jack yet, but he could be.”

At 6 feet 1 and 225 pounds, Williams will try to become Oaks Christian’s new version of Zach Charbonnet this season. Last year, Charbonnet was a two-way standout, rushing for 1,770 yards and also starring at cornerback for the 12-1 Lions.

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Oaks Christian senior is also standout running back

This season, Williams will take over at running back and also continue his role at inside linebacker.

“Love Zach,” Williams said. “Watching him taught me a lot. Going against him in practice every day was incredible.”

Charbonnet has moved on to Michigan, leaving Williams behind to do his own damage. His quickness figures to be a valuable tool in disrupting the plans of opponents.

“Speed is a factor in football, especially when you make split-second decisions and getting through gaps and getting out of gaps and chasing down fast receivers and fast running backs,” he said. “It’s easier for me to move through and around linemen. Closing speed is very important. They have less time to make a move and more time for you to make a tackle.”

A look at some of the top high school football players at each position in the Southland for the upcoming 2019 season.

Williams’ father, Bruce, played linebacker at LSU. Williams has brothers named Sir and Prince. He said his father offers advice when needed.

“He doesn’t have set expectations for me,” Williams said. “He lets me set them for myself.”

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And Williams’ expectations are high. He will rarely leave the field this season and is preparing himself to have the stamina and toughness to be a two-way standout and lead Southern California linebackers.

Top linebackers

Players, School |Ht. | Wt. | Yr. | Comment

Raesjon Davis, Mater Dei | 6-1 | 210 | Jr. | A tackling machine

Justin Flowe, Upland | 6-2 | 225 | Sr. | Sets the standard for excellence

Josh Henderson, Grace Brethren | 6-2 | 215 | Sr. | He makes tackle after tackle

Justin Houston, Gardena Serra | 6-4 | 210 | Sr. | Four-year varsity standout

Caleb McCullough, Oxnard Pacifica | 6-3 | 215 | Sr. | Averaged 16 tackles a game

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Jake Moore, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame | 6-1 | 210 | Jr. | Makes big plays

Niuafe Tuihalamaka, Bishop Alemany | 6-3 | 230 | So.; Has size, toughness to be standout

Nick Veloz, L.A. Cathedral | 6-0 | 210 | Sr. | Lots of mobility and versatility

Kourt Williams, St. John Bosco | 6-1 | 215 | Sr. | Ohio State commit made major jump in offseason

Mister Williams, Oaks Christian | 6-1 | 225 | Sr. | Can accelerate quickly to bring down ballcarriers


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